Can We Engineer Vocational Assessment and Counseling for Everyone—

by John L. Holland, Prof. of Social Relations; The Johns Hopkins Univ., Dept. of Social Relations, Baltimore, Md.,

Serial Information: Civil Engineering—ASCE, 1976, Vol. 46, Issue 5, Pg. 92-94

Document Type: Feature article


Because guidance is costly and time consuming and because testing provides incomplete coverage of potential, psychologists have been trying to engineer new procedures to help people more effectively. One approach described here, the Self-Directed Search (SDS), is a self-administered, self-scored, self interpreted vocational counseling system. The test looks at one's preference in six types of activities and occupations, realistic, investigative, artistic, social enterprising, and conventional. It includes two booklets, an assessment booklet and an occupational booklet. A person fills out the assessment booklet and obtains a three-letter occupational code. One then uses the code to locate suitable occupations in the occupational classification booklet. The SDS is completed in 40 min to 60 min, and simulates what a person and counselor may do in several interviews. Investigations reveal that SDS is equal to the effect of counselors. The SDS provides more vocational alternatives, reassures people about a current alternative, stimulates exploration, reduces indecision, and leads to greater satisfaction with choice.

Subject Headings: Standards and codes | Human factors | Social factors | Fills | South Dakota | United States

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